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UK Home Secretary signs off on Lauri Love's extradition to US

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Should he be extradited and tried? Is Asperger's a "get out of jail free card"? Did he or did he not break into the computer systems? Does it matter that it's US systems? What if it were another country who's computers he broke (allegedly, of course) into?

I believe anyone who breaks into a computer system should be tried in the country where the computer(s) were/are located. But... I'm curious how others feel as I have no real answers on this. .

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I feel that the US takes these things way too seriously.

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So where's the line on "way too seriously"?

I don't view the choice of target as criteria. Ransomware, data downloading should be taken equally serious. It doesn't matter if it's a script kiddie, a gang of miscreants or any of the various state actors around the world. Maybe I'm wrong.

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I'm not sure where that line is. Certainly ransomware and other clearly malicious activity is on the wrong side from my perspective. Having a go at an FBI site is just petty vandalism in my books. For one thing, they should expect that from young and immature "hackers", and for another they should not be at the level where a lone person like Love can penetrate their system to the extent that he supposedly did.

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Is Asperger's a "get out of gaol free card"?

OK - my opinion? For many years, western countries view of extradition is that it's fine provided that the laws, personal protections and separation between the courts and government in the country to which you are being extradited are reasonably similar to your own country - particularly in relation to the crimes you are being charged with. I think that many people feel that the USA are no longer 'in step' with other liberal democracies - particularly in how they treat crimes against state agencies, but crucially in the areas of 'personal protections' (which includes diminished responsibility for those with impaired cognitive ability, and also protection against unlawful means of interrogation). But you could argue that one (of many) reasons the UK conservative government largely campaigned for BREXIT is that they are also out of step with most liberal democracies and find the EU court of human rights a problem, so may prefer that he be extradited and charged in the USA than in the UK under European law. My opinion - he deserves to be tried at home, and under the current laws (before BREXIT) because the USA cannot prove his human rights will be adequately protected if he's extradited. My hope is that he'll seek asylum in the embassy of a country who is receptive to his plight.

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No. Cultures differ. If someone is photographed in a mini-skirt in London and the photo is published in Tehran should she (or he) be extradited and prosecuted there for indecency?

In almost every extradition treaty there is supposed to be some evidence presented to justify the extradition. The USA seems to think their assertions are evidence and are willing to go to war rather than provide said evidence. The past Afghan government was willing to turn over Bin Ladin is the USA gave them some evidence, which they needed to save face. Instead the USA goes to war.

Well they do not have to go to war this time because the UK government is already a beaten dog. The UK has capitulated by allowing extradition by allegation, without requireing enough evidence to get a local warrant.

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'Is Asperger's a "get out of jail free card"?'

Hardly. Feltham (young offenders) was the first institution to get NAS Accreditation - the research there found 4.5% of inmates had HF autistic spectrum disorders - so 16,000 are currently gaoled if that scales.

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I disagree, I think he should be tried in the country he was in at the time of the crime, not the country where the computers were in..

Think of it this way, if someone was standing in one country and shot someone in another, which country should arrest the shooter? The victims or the shooters? Or both?

The problem here is that the US criminal justice system is harsh for minor crimes like this, and their prisons are dangerous places....

I agree he should be tried, but in a UK court.

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they should not be at the level where a lone person like Love can penetrate their system to the extent that he supposedly did.

Only one of them needs to be lucky. The problem is that the Love's of this world have an endless amount of time to screw about. Once in a system like the FBI there is no telling what data they may extract, personal details of crime victims, or informants. The result is that a large amount of money and time is spent trying to keep the little bastards out. What if they were in your home system ferreting about, do you know for sure that you don't have any sensitive data on it. Young and immature hackers know for sure that they aren't supposed to be doing this, its why they call themselves hackers, and Love at 31 is certainly neither young nor immature.

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Anonymous Coward

Let's take this in steps - as should be with the issue at hand.

Should he be extradited and tried?

That's TWO questions :). First is the issue of extradition. In this case the answer would be "yes" IMHO, but not for the reasons he is currently extradited for. I vehemently disagree with the notion that someone should be extradited without a review if the alleged evil deeds are a crime in the country of residence and if the evidence so far stacks up to make sure it was actually him who did the hacking. Unfortunately, this is what one T Blair agreed to when he was busy pretending to be George W Bush's poodle.

What Tony Blair agreed to is simply wrong because it allows another nation to impose its laws on the UK, impairing UK sovereignty. If that wasn't a problem, Brexit would not have happened either - you can't have it both ways so this T Blair agreement need to be annulled - but that's a separate battle.

In other words, I agree with the extradition as his alleged crimes happen to be to be criminally actionable in the UK as well, NOT just because the US says so.

Is Asperger's a "get out of jail free card"?

No, not at all. Asperger's doesn't impair the ability to tell right from wrong. It's a convenient excuse because it's a less understood condition buried in myth and, frankly, FAR too often abused as excuse. People with Aspergers do not commit crimes by default, thank you.

Did he or did he not break into the computer systems?

THAT would have been one to be worked out by UK courts prior to extradition instead of bending over by default to the US legal system and shipping someone out. If you want to talk Human Rights, well, there's your work - he is entitled to decent due process, not to a media circus driven kangaroo court with a number of new players soon to be elected by someone with orange skin, weird hair and an at best tenuous relation with reality.

Does it matter that it's US systems? What if it were another country who's computers he broke (allegedly, of course) into?

It SHOULD not matter, but it does. As it's the US, it's "no questions asked" and the chap gets crated and shipped as soon as everyone has made their money through the various plays in UK court, whereas the whole process would be a bit more thorough if it came from anywhere else, sans Tony Blair negotiated bypass of UK law.

I believe anyone who breaks into a computer system should be tried in the country where the computer(s) were/are located.

Yes, but it's difficult. Try extraditing anyone from Russia, for instance. You'll be thanked for given them something to laugh about, but it won't happen. Furthermore, there's no reciprocity either: try extraditing an American who has broken into UK systems. That, IMHO, is one of the key arguments why the US ought to be told to f*ck off in the first place until full process has taken place - symmetry and balance matters.

But... I'm curious how others feel as I have no real answers on this

It's not quite as black and white as the press would like to make it appear (well, it wouldn't fit in a 200 word article then, of course), there are quite a few variables in this which is why I tend to take the time to unravel it all before forming an opinion. I know that my absence of snap outrage isn't fashionable right now but I prefer to form my own opinion, on account of having a reasonably well functioning mind (post coffee).

In my opinion, if you can't handle doing the time, don't do the crime or man up and face the consequences. The way the UK handles extraditions to the US is simply not right and it ought to be changed, but I think that in the circumstances here the outcome would have been identical, even with the T Blair agreement annulled as it should.

Sorry, long post, but I have tried to untangle the various elements involved - exactly because there are plenty who seek to do the opposite.

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Anonymous Coward

'Is Asperger's a "get out of jail free card"?'

Maybe my enterprising mind is considering setting up aa assasination company with my 2 autistic sons

we can play havoc with the authorities and claim "it's the Aspergers wot did it guv" and pay no punishment for ever

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Well said. Part of the problem is as you point out... it's a one sided extradition treaty.

Some toss "human rights" about in a one-sided lump but let's take, say China. If China said "we'll prosecute and punish" which is what many believe.. there's either a long harsh sentence of "re-education" or a bullet most likely. I'm pondering that all this will never be satisfactorily resolved until all countries are on the same page as far as crimes and punishment.

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Anonymous Coward

> I believe anyone who breaks into a computer system should be tried in the country where the computer(s) were/are located

And I believe that if I pay my taxes in the country of my allegiance, I expect said country to show some loyalty back, take responsibility, and try me for any crimes I may be accused of, not to hand me over to some foreign bunch of lunatics because "special relationship".

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"Once in a system like the FBI there is no telling what data they may extract, personal details of crime victims, or informants. The result is that a large amount of money and time is spent trying to keep the little bastards out."

So should the FBI be thanking people like Love for highlighting their woeful and easily by-passed security and demonstrating to them where to target their minuscule and limited IT security budget? What if the Russians, Chinese or organised crime gangs had stumbled over that same security hole? It might be the end of the world as we know it. Maybe Trump will allocate an extra $100 or so for the IT security budget next year.

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For me the key problem is that "the crime" (the acts for which he faces trial) occurred in the UK. The victims were in the USA, but the acts occurred in Britain. So (for me) that suggests a British court should be the appropriate venue...

I appreciate that a lot of this stuff gets complicated, because e.g. mugging a tourist to the UK is different from e.g. defrauding someone over the phone long distance.

But consider: if I publish something defamatory on a US website accessible in the UK, then I can be sued in English courts, and if I lose... the US has laws protecting me from collection efforts, because they insist that only libel verdicts issued in a US court are binding (so as to protect rights under the First Amendment, etc). So that seems to support the theory that acts performed in Country A that harm someone in Country B should be tried in Country A, *because* it may be that the act might not be unlawful in Country A because of a legal technicality or a binding precedent or any other reason (even if the act is, broadly speaking, unlawful in both jurisdictions). This fits, incidentally, with the "jury of your peers" thing, too.

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No it didn't occur in the UK, it occurred in the USA. He wasn't hacking computers in London, he was hacking computers in New York.

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He was in the UK when he commited the crime, so the act was commited in the UK.

If I remember correctly, it is a crime punishable by prison time to dishonor the king of the Philipines. Would you want to be extradited there and face prison time if you ever wrote something negative about him, even if you had never been there?

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Wrong. He was fiddling with equipment and systems located in the US.

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Anonymous Coward

Ban extradition

Ban extradition to countries with the death penalty, even if it doesn't apply to the case.

Countries with the death penalty don't know justice.

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Re: Ban extradition

"To make a hollow laughing"

And we do? I dunno what hole you've been hiding in for the last 70 years..

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Re: Ban extradition

When someone tortures your loved ones to death, you might change your mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ban extradition

Leaving aside the strawman...

> When someone tortures your loved ones to death, you might change your mind.

People of weak moral character and low intelligence perhaps, who may believe that vengeance is in any way useful or justifiable just because they get pleasure out of it.

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He doesn't help himself..

He isn't doing much to help his case by way of the second tweet shown in the article. Doesn't exactly say he is sorry for what he has done.

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Re: He doesn't help himself..

Only if it's just a threat, I can think of at least 5 ways to insert & kick off a time delayed payload or payloads. I can also think of many places to leave them, the powergrid, hospital systems, traffic control systems, air traffic control.

And if I was Russia or China, and I was very clever, I'd scoot over with a few of my own timed to go off about 48 hours after he is reported to leave UK shores... And then just quietly mention something to the US media about that "nice British lad".

I don't think he should be tried at all, the onus should be on the system owner to secure it.

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Happy

Re: He doesn't help himself..

"I don't think he should be tried at all, the onus should be on the system owner to secure it."

Do you use that rule for property / personal theft?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He doesn't help himself..

Well yes. See how interested the police are in helping you if it turns out you were burgled having left your front door open.

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Happy

Re: He doesn't help himself..

And if you didn't leave your front door open*, what counts as secure enough?

You can always add more locks / alarms / guards but there's always somebody willing to take penetration to the next level.

*I take it all back if there was zero security on the systems he is accused of hacking

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Anonymous Coward

Re: He doesn't help himself..

to the author of: "He isn't doing much to help his case by way of the second tweet shown in the article. Doesn't exactly say he is sorry for what he has done."

It rather shows more that you didn't read the first one very carefully ... here is a gravely "at-risk" individual yet his reasonable cries for help go more-or-less unheard or, worse, ignored :(

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Re: He doesn't help himself..

"Do you use that rule for property / personal theft?

That is not even remotely related. We're talking about the FBI - the prime security service of the United States of America and that nation's federal law enforcement agency. They have a duty to maintain a high level of security. It is preposterous that a singe individual can, or could, access their "secure" information on-line.

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@tony Re: He doesn't help himself..

Fair point. Same point raised for lorry drivers entering the UK from France. If people are found in the back it seems to be that the government takes the opinion that "reasonable" precautions weren't taken.

Could we then say that if the FBI are hacked they therefore didn't take reasonable precautions?

Could we argue that the internet is insecure in its nature? In which case we're wasting resources fighting a losing battle, unless of course the point of the extradition is to cover backsides and draw attention away from embarrassingly inadequate security.

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Re: He doesn't help himself..

He isn't doing much to help his case by way of the second tweet shown in the article. Doesn't exactly say he is sorry for what he has done.

Looking at the second sentence first I think that there is a genuine problem here; an apology would be an admission of guilt or wrong - doing (call it what you will) and I can't see him falling into that trap; he may have AS but he probably isn't a complete fool.

I have to agree that his second Tweet does not help his case at all; it has all the appearance at blackmail.

Then It rather shows more that you didn't read the first one very carefully ... here is a gravely "at-risk" individual yet his reasonable cries for help go more-or-less unheard or, worse, ignored

He may be at risk but (assuming for now that he is guilty) he should have thought of that before considering interfering with someone else's computer system. Carriying this to its logical conclusion would result in anyone facing criminal prosecution for anything, anywhere being able to claim that if they are hauled before a court then they will kill themselves.

Harsh as it may seem I cannot subscribe to the idea that AS should ever have the status of a "get out of jail free" card. (I nearly used the term "trump card" but realised that it would be inappropriate) If those who have AS are allowed to live as normal a life as the rest of us (e,g, with unfettered access to a computer) then they will have to accept that malfeasance has its consequences and that serious malfeasance may have serious consequences.

We are (supposedly) all equal before the law so I can see no reason (within UK law as it stands) for LL to be able to sidestep the consequences of his actions just because he has AS.

At the same time I am deeply troubled by the imbalance between the standards of prima facie evidence that has to be provided by either the UK or the US as the case may be. In that respect the UK government has, and continues to, let its citizens down.

Badly.

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Re: He doesn't help himself..

At the same time I am deeply troubled by the imbalance between the standards of prima facie evidence that has to be provided by either the UK or the US as the case may be. In that respect the UK government has, and continues to, let its citizens down.

That'll be the special relationship, you know the drill turn around and assume the position

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Re: He doesn't help himself..

Courts do. Consider laws akin to adverse possetion. Ask an insurance company to pay out on an unlocked car.

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It's the people running the systems that allegedly got pwned so easily who should be on trial and Lauri Love should be chief witness for the prosecution.

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Unhappy

Is there a spare sofa in the Ecuador embassy?

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optional title

Irrelevent if LL is aspie or not.

Key issues IMHO:

1. No idea how good / bad the evidence is.

2. in US style will be threatening ludicrously long jail sentence (die in jail length) - but then offer plea bargain where if you plead guilty you get far a less extreme sentence

If you are innocent then point 2 is essentially a way to coerce false confession i.e. do you gamble on being found innocent and rotting to death in jail or do you plead guilty (when you are not) just to ensure some life spent out of prison.

Due to 2, then fair trial is dubious, so UK trial (if evidence warrants it) is a better option IMHO

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Re: optional title

Point 2 applies pretty much in the UK as well, unfortunately.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps he should be employed by GCHQ rather than imprisoned

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An alternative solution

We try him here, the judge instructs the jury to find him guilty, sentence him to 99 years and fine him millions of dollars which we will FedEx to the US. Justice done, America can be happy, case settled.

Then we can deal with his appeal and actually have justice done.

Of course, America doesn't want justice, it wants revenge.

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Boffin

If a Spaniard standing on the French side of the French-Belgian border shoots dead an Italian citizen on the Belgian side, where does the trial take place?

While I love reading the opinions of the commentards here I doubt any has the legal expertise to make any legal proclamation of fact.

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Anonymous Coward

> If a Spaniard standing on the French side of the French-Belgian border shoots dead an Italian citizen on the Belgian side, where does the trial take place?

Holland, if one is to judge by the Lockerbie case.

More seriously, you make a very good point.

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Do you want a real answer? Because there is one. The usual one. There were crimes committed in both countries. He would face courts in two countries. There is nothing novel presented in your problem.

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I'm looking forward to the day...

When none of us will need to take either responsibility or accountability for our actions, and we can all happily pay lawyers to try to get us off of charges by grasping to any manner of conveniently purported or concocted mental conditions; because I'm sure we are all mental in some way if we looked hard enough. So...

Was he smart enough to do the crime? Yes.

Was it pre-meditated? Defintely.

Would he have understood the legality and consequences of it? Most certainly.

Should he be extradited to the US? I don't care.

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Extradition

IMO the rights or wrongs of this case is immaterial. The issue is equality in law. The USA will never extradite any US citizen to a foreign jurisdiction; Tony Blair signed a extradition Treaty with the USA which was supposed to apply to both sides, however the USA did not sign, so it remains a one way street only. British citizens can be extradited to the USA but the reverse cannot happen. Parliament need to tear up the treaty until such time as the USA agrees to sign it so that extradition can be applied to US citizens to face British justice where applicable.

We voted to take back control from Europe, is it not time that we demanded we take back control of our justice system from the USA?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Extradition

Isn't there a way to extradite Tony Blair to the US?

:)

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Re: Extradition

Wrong, the US-UK extradition treaty was ratified by the US a decade ago. US citizens have been extradited to the UK.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK–US_extradition_treaty_of_2003

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Re: Extradition

"US citizens have been extradited to the UK."

But have any US citizens been extradited for crimes committed *while in the US*? The article quoted suggests not... I would also not rush to treat the Baker report, or the opinions and assertions of the Home Affairs Select Committee as "fact", e.g. regarding the controversial claim that "little or no distinction in practice between the 'probable cause' and 'reasonable suspicion' tests", which many consider to be one of the fundamental sources of asymmetry. It seems to be standard operating practice for such reports and committee hearings to endorse the status quo, covering over issues of legitimate concern with a thick layer of white-wash enriched with a dash of sophistry.

In this particular case there are further asymmetries; the available penalties are radically different, and the US Love would appear to face not one but three separate trials in three different jurisdictions, in a prosecution and "defence" culture that bullies individuals to plea bargain. There is a precedent for vulnerable individuals committing suicide in such circumstances, even when they are not also facing the additional problem of being stuck in the prisons, and legal systems of a foreign country.

This just looks like an extension of the rendition programme, given that the case could have been taken up by the CPS, rather than the police handing everything over to US law enforcement, seemingly to enable harsh treatment that would be considered unacceptable in the UK. This is not justice.

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Anonymous Coward

So it's ok to run child porn to catch criminals, but spotting security holes is illegal.

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/305593-fbi-ran-23-child-porn-sites-in-sting-operation

Hypocrites, the FBI need also to be taken to that torture base of USofApples shores, so no law applies.

Imaging if you child was in these images!

Imagine if you're all grown up and someone then tells you it's all online.

REWARD the hackers, DEFEND the people.

This is the START of the END for USofApple.

Viva revolution!

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